Can You Defend Your Faith?
DO YOU have a religion that you love and cherish? If so, you ought to be happy to discuss it and to share it with others. That is the way an unselfish person feels when he has something good that will benefit his fellowman.
If yours is the true faith, then it is one firmly based on God’s Word of truth the Bible. Its teachings can be defended by the Bible. This poses the question: Can you use the Bible to defend your faith? It is vital that you be able to do so, for an apostle of Jesus Christ, Simon Peter, once wrote: “Sanctify the Christ as Lord in your hearts, always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of you a reason for the hope in you.” (1 Pet. 3:15) Yes, true Christians should be able to use the Bible to give a defense of the beliefs that they hold dear. Can you?
Some time ago a Catholic lady who cherished her faith desired more knowledge so that she could share it with others and defend it when questions were raised. Regarding her efforts in this connection, she writes:
“Several years ago my husband and I attended a night class to learn more about our religion. We went twice a week for two years, while it was in session. Since I believed that ours was the one true way to worship God, I wanted to be better equipped to share my faith with nonbelievers. The head of the Catholic Information Center in Milwaukee, Father Mehok, conducted the class. We studied from a question-and-answer book which did quote some scriptures. We also read an occasional paragraph or two from the Bible.
“One day one of Jehovah’s witnesses made a call at my home. In a brief span of time many scriptures were called to my attention that were new to me and seemed to contradict my religion. Realizing I had learned much about the Catholic religion but little about the Bible, I decided to again attend a Bible class, this time at a different Catholic congregation in Milwaukee. A few minutes of time was allotted after each session to answer previously submitted questions. I submitted several questions; however, no answer was given from the Bible.
“Next I went to Our Lady of Sorrows parish, Milwaukee. Father Brown conducted this class. During one of the discussions he said that we could read the Bible if we wanted, but that we would find it ‘dull reading.’ However, he did emphasize the importance of Catholics memorizing their prayers. One of the reasons he gave was that one could do as he did—pray and plan the day’s schedule at the same time. I asked him of what value such praying was. All he said in answer was that he knew he had made a mistake the minute he said it.
“Another question I asked him was if Jesus knew the time of the world’s end when he said: ‘Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.’ (Matt. 24:36) He answered that Jesus did know, but that he denied knowing because he did not think that the people needed to know.
“Sensing that I might be embarrassing him by asking these questions in class, I suggested a private interview. At this meeting I again brought up Matthew 24:36 and asked him why he as much as said that Jesus was a liar. He would not use the Bible but stuck to his original statement, claiming that Jesus was God and therefore knew everything. Because he wouldn’t use the Bible, I decided to see another priest.
“I again contacted the head of the Catholic Information Center. I wrote and said that I had several questions I would like to type up and send to him. I told him that I would give him plenty of time to look up the answers and that when he was ready I would like him to visit me at my home. I also mentioned that I would have one of Jehovah’s witnesses there so that we could show this Witness that the Catholic religion was the true religion. He wrote back and refused to come, suggesting that I was mentally unbalanced.
“Then I decided as a last resort to write the Pope in Rome and ask him. So a cablegram night-letter was sent. Among the questions asked was if the Pope could recommend a priest in the Milwaukee area who was sufficiently familiar with the Bible to be able to answer my Bible questions. The cable cost $16.45, and it seemed to me that it would be worth every penny. No reply!
“I had treasured my religion and I had wanted to remain a Catholic. I tried very hard to find answers to defend my faith. Finding this impossible, I began a systematic study with one of Jehovah’s witnesses. Soon after, I began attending congregation meetings. With the abundance of Scriptural proof that was given, it wasn’t difficult to realize that this was indeed the Truth. Now I am happily engaging in the field ministry and am telling my Catholic friends about God’s kingdom.”
Have you ever tried to defend your faith by showing that it was supported by the Scriptures? If someone asked you why you believe the way you do, could you open the Bible to appropriate texts and say, “This is the basis for my faith. It is what the Bible teaches on the matter”? Remember, the apostle Peter said: Be “always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of you a reason for the hope in you.”—1 Pet. 3:15.
Merely possessing a faith is not sufficient. You must be prepared to defend it. This requires investigation—asking questions, and obtaining answers from God’s Word of truth the Bible. “Keep testing whether you are in the faith, keep proving what you yourselves are,” the apostle Paul encouraged. It is vital that you make this test, examining whether your beliefs are supported by the Scriptures. It is the only way to be sure that you have the true faith.—2 Cor. 13:5.